words about words

I love James Ellroy, and The Black Dahlia was the first novel of his I read. I’ve read all of them since then. He’s a terrific writer. Dark and spare, with a flair for dialog and especially cursing.
I’ve been waiting for this movie since I read the book in…what? 1989? It was soooo disappointing. Especially considering how great L.A. Confidential was.
Black Dahlia looked great, and there was an impressive attention to period detail. Scarlett and Hilary were gorgeous and the Dahlia was beautiful and pathetic even in life.  But DAMN. It’s like Brian DePalma watched every film noir flick at Blockbuster and was too spent to put his own twist on the genre. It was not an hommage, but laziness. Cliche as hell. Not for one moment did I forget I was watching a movie. Not once did I give a crap about the characters. Some of DePalma’s choices of mise en scene were laughably cheesy. Not good. I should’ve seen All the King’s Men instead…another of my favorite books of all time.

3 thoughts on “The Black Dahlia

  1. Eric says:

    I was thinking about going to see that this weekend…

  2. Surly Duff says:

    Ellroy hated the movie adaptation of Black Dahlia (and LA Confidential, BTW), apparently they cut about an hour of the film and totally ruined it.Anyway, if you are interested in Ellroy stuff…there’s a place in LA on the Sunset Strip (Mystery Pier Books, I think) that has plenty of mystery books available and lots of signed stuff from Ellroy

  3. Chris Stone -- Eugene, OR says:

    I can’t wait to see the movie so I can disagree with you, or not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: